While it is common knowledge that Workers Compensation Insurance is compulsory in Western Australia, a large number of workers do not know or understand the process of filing a Workers Compensation Claim.
If you need to file a Workers Comp Claim, you want clear cut instructions. This is an area where being precise matters, and mistakes will make a stressful situation worse.
The following is a guide to help you file a Workers' Compensation Claim and navigate the Western Australian system of Workers' Compensation.
It is common for many workers to have no experience dealing with Workers Compensation. When an accident or other injury renders them unable to work, their limited knowledge of the scheme puts them at a disadvantage. Employees who relocate to Western Australia are in a similar situation as the rules in their former state may be different. In either case, those in need of help do not know how to claim Workers Compensation in WA.
I Have Been Injured Whilst Working. Now, What Should I Do?
After experiencing an event that incapacitates you to the degree that working is not possible, there are a series of steps you must complete in order to qualify for Workers Compensation Benefits.
Submission of a Claim
- As soon as an injury occurs or evidence of a work-related illness arises, it is vital for you to notify your employer. Be sure the employer documents your occurrence.
- The next step in your process is to see a medical practitioner and get a First Certificate of Capacity. The certificate is essential as it carries details regarding all injuries you sustained. Without an accurate listing of all your injuries, you will have a difficult time receiving compensation.
- You will need to fill out a Workers' Compensation Claim Form. These are readily available for download online. Submit this form along with your first certificate from your medical practitioner to your employer.
- Your employer will submit the information to the company's insurer for acceptance or denial.
Several factors can help the process of claiming compensation smoother for the employee, as well as the employer. These include:
The idea of early intervention as it pertains to Workers Compensation claims was the topic of a pilot research project. Among the findings, the early intervention pilot program assisted workers, and their managers get ahead of potential problems which could result in workers' injuries or illnesses. The early intervention project highlighted some critical results, including:
- Access to treatment support services earlier
- Employee's opportunity to manage issues that may have been unknown
- Improved ability for recovery and support ultimately leading to a return to work
- Provision of a Vocational Rehabilitation Expert
These vocational rehabilitation providers are professionals from relevant health fields. Typically, these professionals are occupational therapists, physiotherapists, or psychologists. Their expertise is valuable in removing barriers that may prevent a worker from resuming their duties.
For example, a vocational rehabilitation expert can have a significant part in assisting an injured or ill employee. An occupational therapist can teach a worker modified ways to perform their duties.
WorkCover WA approves these providers. Additionally, they assure these professionals possess the appropriate expertise and experience to assess a worker's needs and plan workplace support services.
A Proactive Follow up
It is in the employee's best interest to have follow-ups to ensure that they progress as expected or address concerns before they become more significant problems. A Progress Certificate of Capacity will provide the examining doctor's professional assessment of how the worker is responding to the planned treatment.
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Proactive follow-up by both parties is encouraged.[/caption]
Positive Communication With the Insured, as Well as the Injured
It is important to remember:
- Communication is the key to successfully navigating a multitude of difficult circumstances. This is true when it comes to Workers Compensation Claims.
- Whether interacting with the injured worker or the injured worker's employer, communication needs to remain civil and positive.
- Always communicate according to the facts of the case without any inference
- Avoid overly generalised or accusatory statements
- Reinforce the notion of teamwork and the fact that employer and employee both want the same outcome
- Do not cast or admit fault
- Keep statements simple and factual
The Return to Work Process
Once the worker's doctor provides a Final Certificate of Capacity, the process of returning to work begins.
A vital part of Workers Compensation is restoring the ill or injured employee's ability to work. Employers' must create a return to work plan for workers who are returning to the job. These written plans are individual and typically involve the input of an employee's medical practitioner or a workplace rehabilitation expert. The return to work process should include the following:
- A specified outcome that the programme will facilitate. For example, Jared will resume his tech support position after gradually completing modified duties over a series of six weeks.
- Actions needed to assist the employee in the return to work program. For example, a physiotherapist will observe Jared's work weekly, offer suggestions to improve his ability to perform his duties and discuss any concerns with Jared.
- A signed statement saying the worker agrees to the terms of the plan. Additionally, the employee's medical practitioner will receive a copy to review.
Anyone working in Western Australia who suffers a work-related disease or injury that requires time away from work is entitled to receive compensation. The Workers Compensation scheme falls under the oversight of WorkCover WA.
However, if you need more information regarding Western Australia's Workers Compensation Scheme, please feel free to contact Connect Business Insurance. The staff of expert insurance professionals can help you with the information you need to make informed decisions.
The material provided here is for informational use only. It does not constitute legally binding insurance advice and should not be used to replace an individual consultation with an insurance professional.